8 Things Everybody Needs to Know about STDs ...


8 Things Everybody Needs to Know about STDs ...
8 Things Everybody Needs to Know about STDs ...

Spending my teenage years as an activist of a very popular Anti AIDS organization has been a motivating and a frightening experience in the same time. Motivating, because there was so much young people in it and we were all trying very hard to educate others and frightening because I often came across people that just didn’t want to know anything… it was almost like they believed not knowing will save them from getting infected with one. Now, Internet hasn’t been so popular back then as it is now, and I really believe next generations will grow to be much more responsible and educated ones. And with the official Anti AIDS day, the 1st of December, close by, I just had to list some facts about STDs. I’m sure most of you know these things but let’s brush up on our knowledge once more. So, here we go…

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Yeast Infection and Facts

Yeast Infection and Facts Photo Credit: BlueRidgeKitties

Almost all women suffer from a yeast infection in some point of their lives and some even have to go through a serious, long term battle against it. Unlike other STDs, a yeast infection can happen on its own so if you feel itching followed by a thick white discharge, do not panic but go see a gynecologist instead. When balanced, yeasts “live a happy life” in our vaginas not causing any problems. It’s their natural habitat and they contribute to maintaining a normal PH balance. Stress, long treatments with antibiotics and low immunity as well as some other, more serious health issues or hormonal changes could cause their number to grow. A yeast infection can be cured but it may come back again too. You can give it to your partner and, if you do, he’ll experience itching and redness too.


Vaginal yeast infections are caused by an overgrowth of the fungus Candida. While they're commonly associated with women, men can be affected, too, especially if they're in frequent sexual contact with an infected partner. Preventative measures include wearing breathable cotton underwear and avoiding overly tight clothing. Dietary changes, like reducing sugar intake, can also help since sugar feeds yeast. Over-the-counter treatments are available, but persistent or recurring infections should definitely lead to a doctor’s visit. Remember, it’s not classified as an STD, but it's important to practice safe sex and communicate with partners.


AIDS is Not the Only Incurable STD

AIDS is Not the Only Incurable STD Photo Credit: kugel

HPV(genital warts), Hepatitis and Herpes are other three STDs the scientist haven’t found a cure for yet. Their symptoms can be treated and there are number of things you can do to keep your immunity high and stop the virus from manifesting again but it will always remain present in your body. There have been some breakthroughs, though, so I have some good news too. An anti HPV vaccine has been developed recently and there is one for Hepatitis B too. Unfortunately, the vaccine for hepatitis B only stops the virus from being transferred and can’t do much if a person already has it.


HIV Virus and the Ways on Which It’s Spread around

HIV Virus and the Ways on Which It’s Spread around Photo Credit: Stéfan

You can get AIDS by being in the same room with an HIV positive person or sharing the bathroom with it. Handshakes, kisses, even using the same plate falls under the non-risky behavior. And, excuse me if I sound rude, but AIDS is not leprosy! Some people were born, their moms have had that choice but they didn’t! But, let me be precise and explain which bodily fluids contain HIV virus and which ones don’t. So, blood, semen, vaginal fluid, breast milk, fluids surrounding the brain, spinal cord, joints and fetus contain enough of this virus to get you infected too. Saliva and tears in the other hand contain very little amount of the HIV virus while sweat doesn’t contain any virus at all so coming in contact with these fluids doesn’t put you at risk of being infected.


It's essential to understand the routes of transmission for HIV to effectively protect oneself and others. The primary modes of transmission are through unprotected sexual contact, sharing needles or syringes with someone who is infected, and from mother to child during birth or breastfeeding. It's important to undergo regular testing if you engage in behavior that could expose you to the virus. Initiating conversation about sexual health with partners and consistently using protection can reduce the risk of transmission drastically. Remember, knowledge and preventive measures are your strongest assets in staying HIV-free.


Syphilis is Curable

Syphilis is Curable Photo Credit: Sam_catch

This disease was deadly and gruesome in 1494 when it first appeared in Europe and it still is now if not treated, of course. However, if it is discovered on time, it can be easily and successfully treated.


Syphilis, a sexually transmitted disease caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum, can be wiped out with a simple course of antibiotics, typically penicillin, if caught in the early stages. Initial symptoms include sores at the infection site, rash, and fever. Left untreated, the disease progresses to more severe stages that can cause serious health complications, including neurological and cardiac issues. Regular testing and practicing safer sex can reduce the risk of infection and ensure prompt treatment. Remember: routine checkups are crucial for sexual wellbeing.


Pets and STDs

Pets and STDs Photo Credit: kevindooley

Some gynecologists say cat and dog owners should be tested for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea more often because a simple thing like keeping a pet in the house, playing with it, hugging it and letting it sleep in your bed could have serious consequences for your health. Others claim this is impossible. I honestly don’t know what to believe and I don’t plan on kicking my little doggy out in the cold. STDs or no, washing your hands and taking care of yours and your pet’s hygiene is mandatory because pets do carry a vast number of other microorganisms that are harmful for humans.


Interestingly, while research does suggest pets can carry zoonotic diseases that can be transmitted to humans, it's a grey area when it comes to traditional sexually transmitted diseases like Chlamydia and Gonorrhea. Certainly, close contact with pets can expose owners to various bacteria and parasites. Think ringworm, toxoplasmosis or certain types of staph infections – real concerns, albeit not classified as STDs. Regardless of the debate, maintaining proper hygiene and regular veterinary checkups for your furry friends are key steps in protecting both your health and the well-being of your beloved companions.


Condoms Don’t Offer 100% Protection

Condoms Don’t Offer 100% Protection Photo Credit: peachy92

Using a condom significantly lowers your chances of being infected with an STD but it doesn’t make you 100% protected against them. This is especially the case with genital warts because they are often found on areas condoms do not cover. Inspecting your partner’s “organ” could help you detect “suspicious” scabs but it’s also not a safe method because a person might look completely healthy and still have a “bug eager to shop for a new apartment”.


STIs or STDs?

STIs or STDs? Photo Credit: MrPhilDog

There is no difference between the term Sexually Transmitted Infections or STIs, in short, and the term Sexually Transmitted Diseases or STDs. The first term has been introduced recently to replace the term STDs which is believed to be inaccurate. You see, it is believed that a “bug” transmitted by sexual contact creates infection that may and may not grow up to be a disease. Don’t let the name get you confused, though, because both terms stand for the same thing.


Women Are More Prone to STDs

Women Are More Prone to STDs Photo Credit: eszter

Yup ladies, this is unfortunately very true. While male genitals have only one tiny “soft spot”, the inside of female genitals are covered with a soft mucous membrane microorganisms have no problem penetrating. Forgive me if I’m being to descriptive now but a vagina is literally a dark, warm, moist place ideal for bacteria growth. That’s why we must be very careful and attend out appointments and checkups.

So, with all this been said, the only thing I can note is that we have merely scratched the surface. I’m sure all of you wonderful, smart ladies here know all there is to know and take a very good care of yourselves so I’m leaving this conversation open so we could share well and not so well known facts. What I’m very interested to know is what is your opinion on AIDS and other STDs? Do you stress about it a lot? Would you educate your kids yourself or leave to the community and Internet to do the “sex talk” for you? Do you know somebody that is HIV positive and did you ever notice the different treatment and the awkward behaviors other people express in that person’s company?

Top Photo Credit: flickr.com

Feedback Junction

Where Thoughts and Opinions Converge

this is a typo, if you keep reading the paragraph, it becomes clear that she meant "can't".

Oh my! I didn't know that pets can give you STDs! That's good to know

"You can get AIDS by being in the same room with an HIV positive person" No. You cannot get the virus by just breathing the same air as an AIDS patient.

since you have covered std/sti, can you please explain how to approach asking your partner if he/she has any before considering sex? and what to say w out being rude… can you trust a simple yes or no? thanx

Thanks for sharing those informations.

Can teens girls get yeast infections ?

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